given a distinctly hagiographic hue. Étienne Molinier, who published a biography of Barthélemy de
Donadieu, bishop of Comminges, shortly after the prelate’s death in 1637,
observed that he did not intend his composition to be a panegyric or oratory:
instead he wrote as a ‘faithful historian’ who was content to propose ‘the fact in
its truth, and purity’.4 His work, however, was not simply a factual account of
the bishop’s life, but rather used facts to exalt Donadieu’s character and actions
within an idealised framework.
With the return of stability to the French